The Chicago Blackhawks missed out on their bid to win back-to-back Stanley Cups when they lost in overtime of Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals and now the Blackhawks may have to say goodbye to their leading scorer as Patrick Sharp is reportedly available.
According to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet, Sharp is “available” and “out there,” he said Tuesday on Hockey Central on Sportsnet 590 The Fan.
This would be a blockbuster move should the Blackhawks move forward and end up trading last year’s leading scorer, but it remains to be seen if Sharp, 32, is being actively shopped or if Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is merely picking up the phone and listening to overtures from other teams.
Sharp had a team-leading 34 goals and 78 points last season while playing in all 82 games. Over the last three full seasons, Sharp has recorded 33, 34 and 34 goals proving he is one of the top goal scorers in the entire NHL.
A move of Sharp would free up salary cap space that is at a premium considering Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are due lucrative extensions this summer. Sharp has three years left on a contract that carries a salary cap hit of $5.9 and a limited no-movement clause that could make any move a little tricky.
The Blackhawks have been linked to Ryan Kesler, Jason Spezza and even Joe Thornton in rumors this offseason as the team continues to try to address the No. 2 center. A move of Sharp could be done so to acquire one of those three centers if Bowman and the Blackhawks decide to break up their core which has won two Stanley Cups.
The two-time Stanley Cup champion was also on the Canadian team that took Gold in Sochi this winter and is one of the fan favorites in Chicago.